Thursday, July 19, 2007


“What we got here is...failure to communicate.”
- Cool Hand Luke, 1967

While I was getting my hair cut yesterday, the receptionist - a young lady who had emigrated from Thailand five years ago - shared this True Story with me.

Seems she has a friend, a more recent emigrée, with a much more limited knowledge of English. Said friend works as a server in a Thai restaurant (where else?), where her English skills are sufficient to the requirements of the job. Most of the time.

One day, the friend delivered an order to a patron’s table, upon which the patron shouted out a hearty “Fuck You!” by way of expressing his thanks.

“Was the patron pissed off about something?” I interrupted. For this sort of behavior is curmudgeonly, rude, and stupid. Even if a restaurant order is late or otherwise unsatisfactory, you insult the waitstaff at your own peril. Mr. Debonair says: “Always be polite to the people who handle your food.”

But that was not the case. The patron was simply a Major Nutcase, known as such to the owners of the establishment.

And our server friend was unfazed...mainly thanks to her limited English skills. Her response?

“Oh, OK - would you like spoon, too?”

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